31 October 2012

We voted...and yes, it matters!

This post is dedicated to all the folks
who haven't decided if voting is worth it.

It is fairly easy to become discouraged by partisan positions, name-calling and mud-slinging, and the seeming lack of consideration for the public good that is present during election seasons.

Leading up to this election, we have had some fairly lengthy discussions - over dinner, pints, and even through mouthfuls of toothpaste.  Friends here in QC and elsewhere raised valid points from myriad angles about key issues - many of which were not addressed during the presidential debates or in other campaigns.  

We have talked about climate change, women's health, wage gaps, ethics, public support for science, food systems, international trade and political relationships, and the military, among so many other points.  More than once, I mounted my idealist soapbox, expounding on the aspects of our governance system which should be more dominant, and the waste of time I sense in our current, polarized, two-party system.  

Who ever gets to keep a ballot!?
We received our absentee ballots
in the mail, and then decided to
vote online.  So, these go in the
'memory box' for...well, why not?
Jerod's rational, I'm a dreamer, and we make a pretty good team as a result.  At the end of the day, we agree on enough points - major and minor - that we sleep well at night.  One of the most important is that IT IS A CITIZEN OBLIGATION TO VOTE.  

If you don't vote, you are opting out of society in the least effective way.  We must participate if we expect things to change or improve (in whatever direction we individually envision).  We cannot expect our opinions to be represented, rights respected, nor preferences acted upon, if we do not actively take part in local, state, and national governance.  

Granted, it is (too) easy to slump back into a comfy seat and bemoan the demise of our systems, ethics, and country...and to feel unmotivated to do anything more than bitterly mark their passing.  This season, though, we've encountered articles that have compelled us to think and re-think our role as voting citizens (living abroad) during this election cycle.  We don't agree with all the politics stated in all those articles, but found that each one raised valuable points worth considering seriously.

So, a few nights ago, we spent several hours researching every candidate on the ballot for our region - Teton County, Montana.  For some, we could hardly find any information, for other only rhetoric.  Yet, for some candidates we found refreshingly honest platform statements.  While we did not always side with their positions, we were heartened to find real-live, honest-to-goodness, human candidates among the options.    

Bottom line, we voted absentee.  
We did not cast identical ballots.
It was easy.  We hope you cast your vote, too!

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